Bill Text: MS SC653 | 2019 | Regular Session | Enrolled

Bill Title: Recognize civic contributions and journalism excellence of WTVA 9 Tupelo News Anchor Tanya Carter.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 5-2)

Status: (Passed) 2019-03-27 - Enrolled Bill Signed [SC653 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2019-SC653-Enrolled.html


2019 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Simmons (13th), Barnett, Browning, Bryan, Clarke, Jackson (32nd), Jolly

Senate Concurrent Resolution 653

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, we join the journalism community in honoring the career of Tanya Carter.  Tanya Carter serves as an Anchor/Reporter for WTVA 9 News In Tupelo, Mississippi.  There she anchors the Noon show, 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. newscasts.  She also hosted a Public Affairs show, "Chasing The News," which featured conversations with people and organizations looking to make a difference in the community; and

     WHEREAS, prior to her arrival in North Mississippi in 2016, Tanya served as Assistant News Director and Main Anchor for WABG-TV6 in Greenville, Mississippi.  She came to the Mississippi Delta from New York City with a reputation as a solid, straight-forward, "no-nonsense" Reporter, and joined the ABC 6 News Team as a General Assignment Reporter in July 2003.  Tanya knew early on that she could not change Mississippi's history, but she has changed the face of Journalism in the Mississippi Delta; and

     WHEREAS, the news veteran was the first reporter in the Delta to gain media access to cover a high-profile capital murder trial.  Tanya Carter's fascination with covering the courts led to the Mississippi Supreme Court nominating Tanya Carter for the Donald W. Reynolds National Center of Courts and Media in the National Judicial College, Basic Legal Affairs Reporting for Journalists Scholarship in 2005.  Tanya also received a Mississippi "Associated Press" Award for Investigative Reporting of a gang shooting in Bolivar County in 2005, which would become the first of many awards to come; and

     WHEREAS, when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, former Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture and former U.S. Representative of the Second District of Mississippi, Mike Espy, and State Representative Chuck Espy invited Tanya Carter to report not only on the devastation and destruction to thousands of families but also on the relief efforts as well.  Tanya was a part of the Feed The Children, NBA and WNBA Caravan of more than ten semi-tractor-trailers of donated food and relief supplies that went to the region; and

     WHEREAS, as a tenacious, persistent, but fair Reporter, Tanya Carter is viewed as honest and approachable, and she has formed a new relationship with the public by creating a market demand for quality journalism.  To sustain public trust, Tanya Carter maintains a healthy degree of skepticism and sets the ethics bar higher than most.  She stands out because of her passion and utter fearlessness.  For several years, the United States Marshal Service invited Tanya Carter to participate in Operation Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally (FALCON).  To help stem the tide of the Methamphetamine epidemic in the Mississippi Delta, WABG-TV6 and its partners served as a catalyst to create community dialogue through a public service awareness campaign, for which Tanya won a Mississippi "Associated Press" Award in 2008 for Best Public Affairs Story about Crystal Methamphetamine.  Tanya's commitment to breaking down barriers built on discrimination and to ensure access to justice led to another award by the Mississippi "Associated Press" in 2009 on the murder of Honduran construction worker Carlos Mesa in Clarksdale, Mississippi.  In March 2008, Tanya Carter was the only Journalist entrusted with the visit of Democratic Presidential Candidate Illinois Senator Barack Obama to Greenville, Mississippi, prior to the Mississippi primary elections; and

     WHEREAS, during the transition from analog to digital communication, Tanya's leadership and involvement in news coverage in the Clarksdale television market enabled Commonwealth Broadcasting d/b/a WABG-TV6 to be awarded significantly viewed status with the Federal Communications Commission.  The market assignment enabled WABG-TV6 to continue cable carriage in Coahoma County and the surrounding communities; and

     WHEREAS, Tanya Carter is a strong supporter of the law enforcement community and has earned the respect of many federal, state, county, and local agencies.  In 2009, Tanya Carter was nominated into the FBI Citizens Academy hosted by the Jackson, Mississippi, Field Office.  Tanya credits the instruction she received in the Citizens Academy for making her realize the need for partnerships between law enforcement, the media and the public.  A year later, Tanya Carter was awarded the 2010 FBI Director's Community Leadership Award by Daniel McMullen, Special Agent in Charge, Jackson Field Office.  Tanya was nominated for the Jackson Field Office FBI's Community Leadership Award for 2010 based on her outstanding contributions toward education programs, youth organizations and advancing cooperation with ethnic and minority groups.  Tanya Carter has been instrumental as an advocate for the FBI by providing opportunities for the Jackson Field Office Special Agent in Charge to speak to political and civic groups within the Mississippi Delta community.  During the Mississippi Valley State University's 2010 Upward Bound Summer Program, Tanya Carter invited representatives from the Jackson Field Office to present a mini-Citizens Academy to the Upward Bound students.  Special Agents and professional support personnel provided information concerning the history of the FBI, the FBI mission past and present, internet safety, and gangs.  Members of the Emergency Response Team (ERT) and Special Weapons and Tactic Teams (SWAT) demonstrated evidence recovery, tactical equipment and techniques, much to the delight of the students.  She also teamed up with the FBI to promote their Cyberbullying Awareness Program bringing the agency's message to private and public schools in the Mississippi Delta.  Ms. Carter and other recipients of the Director's Community Leadership Award were recognized and honored at a ceremony at the FBI Headquarters by Director Robert Mueller in Washington, D.C.  Tanya has also been called upon to serve on the FBI's Command College Media Panel, an intensive program to prepare law enforcement leaders for command level positions; and

     WHEREAS, in 2010, Mississippi State Senators Robert Jackson and Willie Simmons enlisted Tanya Carter's help in bringing the story of EverFi's Financial Literacy Platform to the Mississippi Delta.  Understanding the call for action to help improve the financial landscape for Delta youth and their families, Tanya Carter traveled to Marks, Mississippi, on her day off to attend the Press Conference held by EverFi's CEO Tom Davidson and the Community of Northwest Mississippi.  The initial goal was to implement the program in 30 school districts but the impact of Tanya Carter's story led to the program being implemented in more than 30 school districts.  As a graduate of the Upward Bound Program at Bronx Community College, funded under Title IV Higher Education Act of 1965, Tanya Carter pushed for the EverFi Program to be implemented at the Upward Bound Program at Mississippi Valley State University.  As of this date, more than 75,000 Mississippi Delta High School students have graduated as Mississippi Financial Scholars; and

     WHEREAS, in 2010, Tanya received a Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Silver Award for "Spirit of Giving" franchise piece. 

The floods of 2011 along the Mississippi River were another devastation to impact the Magnolia State, including the Delta Region.  Mississippi Public Broadcasting in partnership with commercial stations in Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi hosted a telethon to benefit flood and tornado victims.  Tanya Carter was the face of the Mississippi Delta to participate in the "Rise to Relief" Telethon at the Mississippi Public Broadcasting headquarters in Jackson.  She volunteered by hosting the telethon alongside WLBT's Howard Ballou, which gave everyone an opportunity in Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee to make a difference in the lives of those affected; and

     WHEREAS, Tanya's greatest achievement came in 2012 from the Mississippi "Associated Press" Broadcasters as recipient of the Howard Lett "Newsperson of the Year."  The award was named after Howard Lett, a Veteran Broadcaster, Educator and Public Relations Consultant whose accomplishments were proclaimed by the Mississippi Legislature in House Concurrent Resolution 115.  Tanya Carter, nominated by her fellow broadcasters from across the state, became the first African-American woman and Journalist from the Mississippi Delta area to ever win this prestigious award since its inception in 2004; and

     WHEREAS, in 2013, The Mississippi State Crime Stoppers Association awarded Tanya its Top Media Representative and for the success of "Manhunt Monday" which led to 100% apprehension for the Greenwood-Leflore Crime Stoppers Program.  In 2014, the Mississippi "Associated Press" awarded Tanya Carter with another award, this time "Best Newscast," Third Place along with her colleagues Christopher Mathis and Mike Sands; and

     WHEREAS, Tanya began her career on the number-one morning show "Good Day New York" at WNYW-FOX5 in New York City before moving into the News Department.  Some of her credits at the station included the last John Gotti Trial, the World Trade Center attacks, and being the person Dallas Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones asked how can we get the NFL on Fox and then instrumental in Fox winning the NFC package.  She later joined WWMT in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as a News Reporter/CNN Headline News Local Edition Anchor.  While in Michigan, Tanya served a two-year term as a Resource Council Member for former New York Yankees' All-Star Shortstop and Captain Derek Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation, Inc.  She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc; and

     WHEREAS, Tanya Carter could have gone anywhere in the world but this New Yorker says God planted her here in Mississippi to help and serve.  From exposing public corruption to empowering youth or raising money for the less fortunate, Tanya Carter continues to give people a true sense of their world so they can participate and have a voice in how it is shaped.  She also shines a light on what is working so that people can make their community and world a better place:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby recognize the civic contributions and journalism excellence of WTVA 9 Tupelo News Anchor Tanya Carter, the first African-American female Journalist from the Mississippi Delta to win the "Howard Lett Award," and extend the best wishes of the Legislature to an excellent Investigative Reporter.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Tanya Carter, forwarded to WTVA Channel 9 Tupelo, and made available to the Capitol Press Corps.